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College students gain experience, opportunities at ALDOT

ALDOT recruitment set-up
Jun 07

For college students, starting a career is one of the most challenging times of life. Similarly, businesses and government organizations face an ongoing challenge to recruit top talent. The Alabama Department of Transportation is addressing these challenges by offering students experience through internship and training programs.

The students gain experience they need, and ALDOT benefits from the fresh perspective and talent of the students who could one day join the state transportation agency as full-time employees.  

ALDOT’s Professional Civil Engineering Training (PCET) program allows civil engineering students to see, experience, and become acclimated to a work environment. Trainees are recruited from a wide variety of colleges and can work year-round. The program allows the students to build a work schedule around their school classes and work as frequently or infrequently as they like.

In addition, through the state intern program, ALDOT and other state agencies hire full-time students to train and work in their fields of interest. Students can join the program at any time during their schooling and can work as an intern up to a year post-graduation. Along with gaining work experience, internships provide the opportunity to earn college credits toward a degree. Interns who show initiative, a good work ethic, and have the knowledge, skills and ability to perform a job could also have the opportunity to be hired on full-time as a state professional trainee.

a man looking at the camera and smiling
Carson Gillaspie, ALDOT Professional Civil Engineering Trainee

Carson Gillaspie, a student at The University of Alabama in Huntsville, joined the PCET program at ALDOT in August 2022.  “I’m truly appreciative of the opportunity I have to study engineering while learning on the job and earning an income,” Gillaspie said. “I encourage anybody who thinks they might be interested in Civil Engineering to sign up for the PCET program at ALDOT. Recently ALDOT increased the pay that PCET employees receive. Also, my supervisor gives me flexibility to work around my college classes.” Gillaspie says another benefit of working for ALDOT is being able to start building a pension for retirement.

women standing on lit bridge
Alyson Kroft, ALDOT intern

Alyson Kroft, a rising Auburn University senior, works as a state intern for the ALDOT Design Bureau. Kroft is a part of the Auburn University Marching Band and a computer science major aspiring to learn more about computer use in road building. So far, she has helped create document management tools to improve efficiency and collect and organize data about bridges across Alabama. “I am excited to use what I’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to a real work scenario,” said Kroft. “My ALDOT supervisor and co-workers have been helpful and welcomed me to work alongside them and learn more about how computer designers contribute to making transportation work in Alabama.”

As of today, ALDOT has 66 PCETs and 7 interns across the five regional offices and central office.

Students interested in participating in the internship program or the PCET program for civil engineers at ALDOT can email for more information. To learn more about careers at ALDOT, go to

This article was written by Reese Patterson, a member of The University of Alabama Class of 2027 and an intern in the ALDOT Media and Community Relations Bureau.